Division III XC Regional Awards Announced for 2015 Season

NEW ORLEANS – Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2015 NCAA Division III Cross Country season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as voted on by the Division’s coaches.

More information on each of the winners can be found below.

QUICK LINKS
MEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year
WOMEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year

Award History: Athlete | Coach

The NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be contested November 21 in Winneconne, Wisconsin, hosted by UW-Oshkosh. The meet will be broadcast live online via NCAA.com.

MEN’S ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Isaac Garcia-Cassani, Geneseo State

There’s been no sophomore slump for Garcia-Cassani. The native of Holbrook, New York, put together a 2015 campaign that has seen him win three races, including titles at the Atlantic Regional Championship and the SUNYAC Championship. He finished runner-up at the Mike Woods Invitational and fourth at the Williams Purple Valley Classic.

CENTRAL REGION – Cole Decker, Central (Iowa)

Decker, a senior from Des Moines, Iowa, emerged as the meet champion at both this past weekend’s Central Region Championships and the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships late last month. Those postseason wins follow up on impressive performances at the UW-Oshkosh AAE Invitational (eighth) and the Rim Rock Classic.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Geno Arthur, Oberlin

This weekend’s Great Lakes Region title continued the theme of Arthur’s senior season: winning. The Camarillo, California, native earned his sixth title of the year with a decisive 10-second win this past weekend. Also on his 2015 resume are victories at the NCAC Championships, the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble, and the Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational.

MIDEAST REGION – Charlie Marquardt, Haverford

Marquardt, a senior from Pasadena, California, made it four wins in a row entering the NCAA Championships with a victory this past weekend at the Mideast Regional Championships. The regional win follows up on titles at the Centennial Conference Championships, the Rowan Interregional Border Battle and the Lehigh Paul Short Run’s Brown DII-DIII race.

MIDWEST REGION – Ian LaMere, UW-Platteville

Since the end of September, there hasn’t been a race in which LaMere has contested that hasn’t seen him up front with the leaders. He notched a 28-second win at the Midwest Regional this weekend, continuing a string of impressive performances for the Green Bay, Wisconsin, native that also includes victories at the WIAC Championships, the UW-Eau Claire BluGold Invitational and the Augustana (Ill.) Brissman-Lundeen Invitational.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Mohamed Hussein, Amherst

There hasn’t been a single runner in NCAA DIII cross country who has been able to beat Hussein in 2015. The sophomore from Hargeisa, Somaliland, claimed the New England Regional Championships title for his fifth win of the season. He won the NESCAC Championships title along with a win at the Williams Purple Valley Classic, and was the top non-Division I finisher at the NEICAAA Championships in a runner-up effort.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Lukas Mees, Emory

Mees, a junior from Marion, Iowa, continued his final collegiate cross country season in style with an eight-second victory in the South/Southeast Regional Championships. His season also includes three more individual titles including wins at Jacksonville State and Charlotte, as well as a runner-up finish in the UAA.

WEST REGION – Tyler Shipley, Puget Sound

Shipley, a senior from Forest Grove, Oregon, continued a strong senior season with a decisive 12-second win at the West Regional Championships. The win was his fourth of the season to go along with victories at the NWC Championships, the Charles Bowles Invitational and the Puget Sound Invitational.

 

WOMEN’S ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Megan Kellogg, St. Lawrence

Kellogg, a sophomore from Queensbury, New York, has quietly developed herself into one of the premier runners in the nation. Recently she won the Atlantic Region title by 12 seconds over a field packed with runners from nationally-ranked teams. Kellogg is undefeated this season with wins at the Cardinal Classic, the Saratoga Invitational, the Ronald C. Hoffman Invitational, the Mike Woods Invitational, the Gene Davis Invitational, the AAE Invitational (which also served as DIII Pre-Nationals) and the Liberty League Championships two weeks ago.

CENTRAL REGION – Ruth Steinke, Carleton

Down the stretch last Saturday it was a two-woman race for the Central Region title. When the dust settled, Steinke dug deep and earned her fourth win of the season and her second consecutive region crown. It was a two-second win for the senior from Lima, New York, as she led the Knights back to NCAAs. Earlier this year Steinke won at the Falcon Invitational, the St. Olaf Invitational and the Running of the Cows title.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Lauren Strohbehn, Calvin

Peaking at the right time is exactly what Strohbehn has done this season. As a junior, now with three years of racing under her belt, the Stillwater, Minnesota native won at her conference meet (MIAA) and then stormed to a 10-second win in the Great Lakes Region. Earlier this season she won the Calvin Invitational, earned the victory at the MIAA Jamboree and finished fifth at the AAE Invitational in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

MIDEAST REGION – Sophia Meehan, Johns Hopkins

As a senior leader for the three-time defending national champion Blue Jays, the pressure is on the Havertown, Pennsylvania native. So far this season Meehan has been nothing but strong for Johns Hopkins. Meehan recently added the Mideast Region title to her haul when she took the individual race by one second over her sister Tess. That was Meehan’s first race since early October, but she was no worse for wear. Meehan also won at the Disney Cross Country Classic and Mustang Stampede, and took second at the Iona College Paddy Doyle Meet of Champions.

MIDWEST REGION – Lucy Ramquist, UW-Eau Claire

After finishing 10th in the Midwest Region last year, Ramquist set her eyes on a bigger prize – the outright championship. Ramquist accomplished that feat last Saturday when she outkicked Millikin’s Sarah Bradley down the stretch. Want to know how close the race was? Ramquist won with a time of 21:16.2; Bradley was 21:16.3. That was the River Falls, Wisconsin native’s third win of the season. The senior also won  at the WIAC Championships and at the Blugold Invitational.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Maryann Gong, MIT

With an NCAA bid on the line, Gong stepped up and delivered a stirring performance at the New England Region Championships. Gong, a junior from Livermore, California, gave MIT the lowest stick possible when she beat the field to the line by seven seconds. It was Gong’s third consecutive win this year as she also won at her conference meet (NEWMAC) and at the Connecticut College Invitational.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Elise Viox, Emory

As of last Saturday, it had been more than a month since Viox won a race. Knowing there were just two races left in her senior season, Viox rose to the occasion at the South/Southeast Region Championships and brought home a win for Emory. The native of St. Louis, Missouri won by 10 seconds over runner-up Hannah Chappell-Dick of Eastern Mennonite. Viox’s only other win of the season came Oct. 3 at the Jacksonville State Foothills Invitational.

WEST REGION – Maya Weigel, Pomona-Pitzer

Add another West Region title to Weigel’s trophy case. For the second consecutive year, Weigel proved to be the class of the West Region. Weigel, a Los Altos, California native, won by 22 seconds and became the second Pomona-Pitzer runner with two consecutive region crowns. She also posted victories this year the the SCIAC XC Multi Dual meet and the SCIAC Cross Country Championships.

 

MEN’S COACHES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Brett Hull, Hamilton

Hull has his Continentals rounding into top form at the right time. Last weekend, Hamilton placed third in the Atlantic Region, beat two teams ranked higher than it nationally and qualified for NCAAs. Two weeks earlier, the Continentals – led by Hull in his 25th year – earned their best finish at their conference meet since 1988.

CENTRAL REGION – Phil Lundin, St. Olaf

A comfortable victory led to another title in the Central Region for the Oles and Lundin, who is in his eighth year as head coach. St. Olaf placed five runners in the top-19 as it scored 62 points to win the title going away. That came two weeks after the Oles nabbed their fourth consecutive MIAC title.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Colin Young, Wabash

The Little Giants had to work for their third consecutive Great Lakes Region title, but first-year coach Young had them ready to go. Wabash edged Allegheny (Pa.) 99-101 to earn one of two automatic bids to NCAAs. Many of the Little Giants turned in better performances than they did in September at the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships on the same course. Wabash was second at its conference meet two weeks prior.

MIDEAST REGION – Tom Donnelly, Haverford

Trips to NCAAs are routine for the Fords under Donnelly, who is in the midst of his 41st year as head coach. 2015 is no different as Haverford captured its 22nd Mideast Region title and the first since 2012 and earned one of two automatic bids to Wisconsin. That came on the heels of a championship-winning performance in the Centennial Conference Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Dan Schwamberger, UW-Eau Claire

As the No. 1 team in the nation, all eyes are on the Blugolds. Schwamberger, in his ninth year as coach, has them firing on all cylinders. UW-Eau Claire held off No. 3 North Central (Ill.) for the Midwest Region crown, which came two weeks after the Blugolds captured the WIAC title. UW-Eau Claire will look to defend home turf at NCAAs.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Peter Farwell, Williams

Farwell has the Ephs running so well recently that they’ve earned two first-place votes in the last two National Coaches’ Polls. Williams edged Amherst for the New England Region title last Saturday two weeks after beating them soundly for the NESCAC title in Middletown, Connecticut. Farwell is in his 37th year as coach.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – John Curtin, Emory

Another South/Southeast Region title for the Eagles means another Coach of the Year award for Curtain. Emory, guided by Curtain in his 31st year, held off a strong effort by Christopher Newport at Kernstown Battlefield and earned an automatic bid to NCAAs. This was the Eagles’ second straight region title. Emory took fourth at the UAA Championships two weeks prior.

WEST REGION – John Goldhammer, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Three runners in the top-10 gave the Stags the edge and the title in the West Region last Saturday. It also allowed Goldhammer, in his 32nd year, to add another region title to his resume – the third in the past four years and seventh time in school history. Just a few weeks prior, CMS captured the SCIAC crown with a dominant performance.

 

WOMEN’S COACHES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Dan Moore, SUNY Geneseo

As a first-year head coach, Moore’s job is simple – put his stamp on the program and continue the rich traditions started by previous coaches. Moore has done just that as he led the sixth-ranked Knights to the Atlantic Region title two weeks after winning the SUNYAC crown. Geneseo State scored 75 points and edged rival SUNY Oneonta.

CENTRAL REGION – Joe Sweeney, St. Thomas (Minn.)

In his 36th year of coaching the Tommies, Sweeney has seen his share of strong races. Last Saturday’s effort by his women’s team should go right up near the top of the list. St. Thomas (Minn.) upset pre-race favorite Carleton for the Central Region title, 118-127. The Tommies put four runners in the top-30. St. Thomas was second at conferences.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Mark Northuis, Hope

Two weeks after winning the MIAA championship, Northuis’ Flying Dutch continued their winning ways with a crown in the Great Lakes Region. Northuis has now won three regional titles in his 28 years at the helm at Hope (1987 and 2012 were the others). The Flying Dutch scored 112 points at this year’s meet, 12 more than runner-up Calvin.

MIDEAST REGION – Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins

Can anybody stop the Blue Jays in the Mideast Region? We think not. Van Allen led Johns Hopkins to its eighth consecutive region title last Saturday as it scored 33 points, 67 more than second-place Dickinson. The Blue Jays won the Centennial Conference title two weeks prior to that. This is Van Allen’s 17th year with the team and he’ll go for his fourth consecutive national title this Saturday.

MIDWEST REGION – Jeff Stiles, Washington (Mo.)

For the second consecutive year, the Bears are Midwest Region champions. Coached by Stiles, who is in his 15th year with the program, Washington (Mo.) put six runners in the top-30 and won by a comfortable margin. The Bears also won the UAA championship two weeks ago and were ranked third nationally in the last poll of the season.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Kristen Morwick, Tufts

A four-spot improvement in the New England Region Championships sent the Jumbos into the top-5 of the national rankings and Morwick to this lofty award. Morwick, who is in her 16th year with Tufts, led the program to a runner-up finish in 2015 (Williams won the championship) after finishing sixth in 2014. This came one week after the Jumbos won its first Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship in program history.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – John Curtin, Emory

An easy win sent the Eagles to a second consecutive South/Southeast Region title and Curtain to a Coach of the Year award. Curtin, who is in his 31st year at Emory, saw four of his athletes finish in the top-10, including region champ Elise Viox. Two weeks ago, the Eagles were fifth at the UAA Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.

WEST REGION – Matt McGuirk, Willamette

A second consecutive West Region title sent the Bearcats to NCAAs once again and 12th-year head coach McGuirk to the Coach of the Year award. The Willamette women are currently ranked seventh nationally and moved up four spots thanks to their win. Two weeks ago the Bearcats were runner-up at the Northwest Conference Championships to Whitworth. Willamette tallied 64 points at the regional meet to beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and rival Whitworth.